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Bill Starr 5x5 Primer - How to create your own 5x5 program by Head Coach

Powerlifting discussion on Bill Starr 5x5 Primer - How to create your own 5x5 program by Head Coach, within the Bodybuilding Forum; "Who can benefit from this program?" is a question that I get often. To me, it's perfectly clear. But the ...


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Old 09-18-2007, 11:02 AM   #11
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Default Who can benefit from this program?

"Who can benefit from this program?" is a question that I get often.

To me, it's perfectly clear. But the answer is EVERYONE.

Young and old, male and female, EVERYONE can benefit from STRENGTH TRAINING such as this.

First, for WOMEN:

Your butt will get round and FIRM. You will have ABS, even if you don't do any "direct" ab training. All of these exercises work your core muscles (abs/obliques). Your arms will lose their grandmother/lola effect.

Will it make you "bulky"? NO!!!! If you are not taking STEROIDS, LADIES, you have NOTHING to worry about! And YES, the local "fitness/bodybuilding" competition sponsored by a big local fitness center chain (you know who I'm talking about unless you live in a cave) is FULL of STEROID USING WOMEN!!! Don't be fooled ladies. They are probably taking Primobolan (an injectible). I have banned their lady dealer/trainer from Eclipse.

Your bones will become very strong and dense from strength training. Do you really think that drinking milk and taking calcium supplements will save you from osteoperosis? Well think again. My own mother, a religious milk drinker, is now suffereing from mild osteoperosis because she started strength training ONLY NOW at the age of 62 years old. I've been barking at her for the last 15 years to do so, and only now she understands since it is now on the freakin' TODAY show. So if your own biochemist son tells you to do it, you'll put it off, but that air-head Katie Couric says "Just do it", you'll jump up and push? Thanks alot ma...

Now for MEN:

What do you expect? Well if you want to get big and strong, the 5x5 will do it for you. If you want something simple as looking like a Mossimo or Bench model (without steroids....it's amazing that those pencil necks take steroids for that competetion...but they do...idiots), the 5x5 can do this easily.

It's also amazing to me how guys think a program like this will turn them into Hulk Hogan. Uh...guys...hello...it doesn't work that way. You'll still need a combination of drugs, incredible genetics, and probably AT LEAST 7-10 years of training to be that enormous. But I suppose that you can get that big if you really want to do so.

Take home message guys: When you reach your desired size and definition....BY ALL MEANS STOP shooting for big gains, and simply maintain your size/strength.

Why must everyone make everything so COMPLICATED? It's so simple ladies and gentlemen

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Old 09-18-2007, 11:03 AM   #12
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Default Time Management

I was a science major in college. I also spent a great deal of time tutoring medical students in their biochemistry and organic chemistry courses.

So I KNOW full well what it means to be short on time.

You can do the 5x5 because:

1) It's 3 times per week.

2) There are long rest intervals in-between sets....therefore you can STUDY or READ in-between sets. The adrenaline is a wonderful stimulus to read fast and understand. Try it sometime.

3) Eclipse is a 24 HOUR GYM. Therefore you can come as late as you want and still get your workout completed.


My strategy to all of you students and working people from Makati and Ortigas who are dying to train at Eclipse but think it is "too far"?

Train on Wednesday night, Friday night (go at 10pm-2am....traffic is manageable) and Sunday.

Therefore you still have Saturdays to do out and drink beer, and Sundays are a slow traffic day..and you probably are not working. Wednesday is probably the only "difficult" day.

So that's all I'm asking...ONE difficult day a week.

Do you want RESULTS? Well you had better be willing to sacrifice. If you've been training at other gyms and (God forbid) have been spending P500-P1000 per session on a nitwit physical therapist turned personal trainer and don't like what you see, come to Eclipse and I'll write your 5x5 and follow it up with you on a regular basis for NO EXTRA CHARGE. This plus if you don't get AT LEAST a 10% increase on all of your lifts (but usually it's closer to 20-30%) in 8 weeks, your 8 weeks will be FREE. IS THAT CLEAR ENOUGH?!? WE GUARANTEE RESULTS!!! Obviously you must train 3 times per week and follow what I've written, and the guarantee will stand. Consistancy is the key, so meet me half-way.

If you want that "Summer Body", you had better get moving, if you really want to turn heads at the beach. Summer is 6 months away, and if you want to look like our model on our flyer (Coach Arcie), I need 6 months to make it happen...meaning well-developed and mega-ripped.

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Old 09-18-2007, 11:04 AM   #13
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Default Why do "fat people" love cardio?

The title to this post is to stimulate critical thinking.

Why do "fat people" love cardio?

To understand this question, you must consider the "vicious cycle" that is weight loss. The "cardio craze" all started with Dr. Cooper and the infamous "Cooper Institute" that basically stated that cardio exercise was superior and all other forms of exercise were inferior. So the fitness boom was basically built on this flawed notion. What have we learned since then? Well it should be obvious and visible within the walls of every fitness center that caters to the "mainstream" fitness population.

People who "love" to be fat are destined to focus on cardio exercise.

What a sweeping statement I've just made. But am I so crazy to say such a thing? If you are mature enough to find this thread, then obviously you are open to the concept of critical thinking. However, many of you have already condemned what I've said since, in your mind, you believe that "cardio" is how people lose weight and keep it off. But is this way of thinking correct? Let me present to you some evidence to the contrary.

To level the playing field, let me offer you the following perspective from Dr. Mel Siff, author of "Facts and Fallacies of Fitness": "Increasing numbers of medical authorities are voicing doubts about the current emphasis being placed on physical fitness. They cite surveys which reveal that as many as 50% of regular joggers and aerobics fans suffer from injuries during the average year, with many instructors showing an even higher incidence of injury.

For instance, Kenneth Cooper, father of the modern aerobics boom, states that two out of three runners are injured badly enough to cease running temporarily or permanently. Surveys by Dr Jeffery Koplan and his colleagues at the US National Center for Disease Control reveal that there is a one-in-three risk of being injured for American joggers and runners.

Apparently superfit athletes such as the running authority Jim Fixx, who died while running, may still suffer from serious heart disorders or other debilitating diseases. These facts have provoked scientists such as Dr. Henry Solomon, professor of cardiology at Cornell University Medical School, to condemn the current overemphasis on exercise. In his book, The Exercise Myth, he contends that the benefits of (cardio) exercise are often illusory. He writes: "Virtually all the claimed health benefits of (cardio) exercise are untrue...Fitness and health are two seperate things. Fitness is really your capacity to do work, and health refers to the presence or absence of disease...In specific reference to your heart, you can be physically fit - capable of enormous amounts of physical activity - and yet be fatally ill with arterty disease." He adds that osteoperosis (due to too much aerobics/running), or "bone thinning" in younger women who exercise vigorously is another cause for concern."

If you can buy "Facts and Fallacies of Fitness", do so. It's a great book, and I highly recommend it for any aspiring or existing fitness professional.

What Dr. Siff is trying to say is very simple, and again based on my intro to this topic, it is visible before your very eyes, each and every time you enter the fitness center. It is also why I recommend that people end or avoid the "vicious cycle" that is cardio exercise.

Let's illustrate: You are a man or a woman who wants to lose fat or "get ripped" or "have a lean body" as is often told to me. So the effective brainwashing of the fitness industry has you convinced that "cardio" is the key. They point to "lean" people who may or may not actually do "cardio" exercise to achieve their leanness and low level of bodyfat. For all you know, many of these models and celebrities take amphetamines, diuretics, and many other forms of extreme measures to get that "model thin" look. And they do just that. Actually getting on a treadmill for an hour or attending a high-impact aerobics class is *gasp* actual work!

Again, the evidence is right before your eyes. Walk into every mainstream fitness center and you'll see the "cardio crazys" running on the treadmill (and not doing interval training) or dancing like lemmings crammed into every square centimeter of a group exercise room. But all of these people, even after months and YEARS of classses, look so....ordinary. Some are even obese, even though they are "fit" and can do the whole hour of class as fast and as aggressively as the instructor. It's what we refer to as the "Fantasia" phenomenon....dancing hippos and elephants in tutus....but I digress...

So why is this the case? All this time you thought that "cardio" is how you lose weight! "Everybody knows that!"

Wrong.

Most experienced athletes know the following: Distance runners are VERY thin....but the moment that they stop running, they bloat up (fatten up) like balloons. In contrast, muscular and toned sprinters do very little "cardio", limiting their distances to a few hundred meters or less during their training. Yet they suffer from far fewer injuries and are actually MUCH LEANER than distance runners. Why is this? It has to do with the same reasons why most of my guys and girls who do strength training workouts have a hard time MAINTAINING their weight, meaning that they suddenly start losing fat once I give them a proper strength training program.

Again, what are the reasons?

They are as follows:

1) Strength training increases muscle mass, which increases metabolic rate.

In contrast, Aerobics/cardio reduces muscle mass, since muscle and glucose are the first things to be burned during aerobics....while the body fights to retain "precious" fat or energy reserves. When you do long-distance "cardio" exercise, your body sees this as a bad thing. The temporary speeding up of your energy needs via this form of physical pounding exercise makes your body think that you are in a dangerous/flight-fight situation. Remember that what you want and what your body wants are two different things.

2) Strength training taps your energy reserves and FAT CELLS via the release of ADRENALINE in response to short bursts of exercise, such as STRENGTH TRAINING OR SPRINTING.

In contrast, "cardio" exercise taps your blood sugar and glycogen reserves first, then muscle cells, AND THEN it goes after your fat cells. This explains, again, why runners are so thin and frail while sprinters are so robust and ripped.

3) Strength training and sprinting only subjects your body to a short-term stressor if you consider total time-under-tension of the exercise. This minimizes the cortisol (stress hormone) released by your body as well as limits the amount of damaging FREE RADICALS formed by exercise via metabolism.

Again in contrast, runners have very high levels of cortisol and free radicals produced by long bouts of "cardio". Have you ever seen someone who has taken a cortisol-like steroid such as predisone? They gain fat at a very rapid rate.

4) Strength training increases muscle mass and BONE DENSITY. This should be especially important to women. Due to high loads imposed by strength training and/or sprinting, muscles are forced to grow bigger and stronger. The body is an incrediby adaptive and efficient machine, as long as the proper conditions for such adaptation are in place. When you do strength training and short bursts of aerobic/anaerobic exercise, your body will adapt positively.

Finally, in contrast to #4, long bouts of running or aerobics only makes bones and muscles weaker. Again, you body is an incredibly efficient machine. When it believes that it is in danger of starving such as in highly stressful situations like "cardio" exercise, it will get rid of what it feels is least efficient such as muscle and bone mass. Think of it this way: You are in an airplane and you are losing altitude. The pilot tells you to jettison (dump out) everything that is not necessary, or you'll crash into a mountain. So you throw out the seats, the food carts, the luggage...keeping only people and the frame of the airplane intact. As a parallel, your body dumps all of what it sees is unnessary (muscle and bone), and keeps what is most important to YOUR BODY FOR SURVIVAL, i.e. internal organs and FAT. Remember that your body only wants to survive. IT DOESN'T CARE ABOUT LOOKING GOOD. If you are a blob of fat and internal organs, at least you are still alive. That's all that matters to your "efficient machine" that is your flesh and blood.

Now again, contrast this to strength training. If you are not burning an incredible amount of calories under incredibly pounding and stressful situations such as "cardio" training, your body will take a much more "liberal" perspective. You have effectively done a "chemical trick" via strength training, and allowed your body to use fat as a primary fuel source, as well as glycogen. The direct stimulus on your muscles and skeleton via strength training also "tricks" your body into releasing testosterone and/or growth hormone. This allows you to build or at least preserve muscle mass. The result is that you gain muscle and you lose fat.

All you need to do is look around the gym. The "fatties" are all dancing in group exercise classes or treadmills for hours on end with little or NO CHANGE, after months or years, while the girls and guys engaging in strength training with free weights make changes in just a few weeks. After a few months, the change is always dramatic. And what's more is that they KEEP IT OFF....i.e. no yo-yo effect.

It's like this...too much aerobics just makes you hungry...and you raid the refridgerator as soon as you get home. Sure, you burned 500 calories in that hi-lo class, but you put 1000 calories back on that late night binge. And what's more, you've reduced your muscle mass....so as soon as you stop or you miss a day on the treadmill or you miss your class, you put back all of the weight you lost....and then some.

Now let me make something perfectly clear. I'm all for classes like hip-hop, spinning, and belly dancing (notice I didn't say conventional aerobics....causes too many injuries). But if you don't ALSO do strength training, it's all for nothing. Those who I've known who do short bursts of intense cardio plus strength training, lose weight and keep it off. Again, this is if you are an advanced athlete and are trying to lose fat. Those who simply do aerobics always fail in the long term. Always. In 16 years, I've never seen an exception to this rule. Again, it's often due to the extremely high injury rates. Once you're hurt, you're stuck with a slow metabolism and a huge appetite....a lose-lose situation indeed.

So what does this mean for the 5x5? Unless you are natually very fat or very endomorphic, forget about cardio exercise. Just let strength training allow you to lose fat naturally and keep it off. End the vicious cycle that is aerobic exercise. If you are very fat, limit your "cardio" to 15 minutes of HIIT, or high-intensity interval training sprints, or Tabata. See our training links section for more information on HIIT.

Don't make the same mistake that most people are making in the mainstream gyms. Again, many big gyms in Metro-Manila have 2000 members. Now you know why many 10-20 actually look like they work out.
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Old 09-18-2007, 11:04 AM   #14
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Default Basketball off-season program

Monday (Perform them in this order)

1) Standing Military press

2) Squats

3) Power cleans - catch the bar in the quarter squat position

Wednesday (Perform them in this order)

1) Bench press or parallel bar dips

2) High pulls

3) Squats

4) Pull-ups

Friday (Perform them in this order)

1) Standing Military Press

2) Squat

3) Power cleans

Note that the above program is for off-season development of strength and explosive speed (vertical jump).

During the on-season, you'd need to do only Olympic lifts such as snatch, power cleans, and high pulls.
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Old 09-18-2007, 11:35 AM   #15
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This may be ways to do 5x5 but it ain't really based on Bill Starr's philosophy. He didn't like deadlifts for one. He pretty much always used ramped sets. He would never say rest 5 minutes between anything.

Nothing wrong with any of it but one thing that stands out to me and that I see as bullshit is this: the idea that you should fucking pay Eclipse to give you a 5x5 routine instead of doing the real job of a strength coach which is to taylor everything to the needs of the individual...and I mean CONSIDERING everything. Making fun of coaches who actually do the job they're paid for rather than just saying everyone should do 5x5's. Fuck that.

Anyone can hand out 5x5's for "no extra charge". But not everyone should necessarily be dong a 5x5. Say if you look like a humbacked caveman with your head protruding forward, one side of your pelvis higher than the other (think Tim Sylvia) and stuff like that, you maybe shouldn't be doing it...

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If you act sanctimonious I will just list out your logical fallacies until you get pissed off and spew blasphemous remarks.
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Old 09-18-2007, 11:39 AM   #16
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damn E...i never even saw that.....bt hey: everyone wants to make a quick buck lol
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Old 09-18-2007, 11:43 AM   #17
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The biggest thing though is that 5 minutes between sets for the 'volume' workout. C'mon. Whatever if that's what he recommends but don't put starr's name on it. He liked people to do it in circuits with hardly any rest!
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